They famously claimed moral victories during the Ashes but England are struggling to beat at an egg at the moment.
After their World Cup title defence came crashing down with barely a whimper and then losing their one-day series to the West Indies – who didn’t even qualify for the main tournament – Jos Buttler’s side has carried its losing form into the T20s.
They have gone down in the first two T20s against the Windies and have now won just 10 of 25 outings in the white-ball arena since winning two of the last three Ashes contests to claim a series draw, which was not enough to reclaim the urn from Australia.
In the ODI arena they have won just eight from 19 outings with two no results due to rain while in T20 cricket, where they are the defending champions heading into next year’s World Cup in the Caribbean and US, they beat New Zealand twice but have lost four straight since.
After claiming to have revolutionised white-ball cricket (as well as the Test format with Bazball) on the way to winning both World Cups, they will be rank outsiders at next year’s showpiece event.
Down 2-0 in this five-match contest, they need to suddenly find form to avoid another series defeat after losing by 10 runs on the back of Brandon King’s sublime knock of 82 in St George’s, Grenada.
Having lost the first game after batting first, Buttler won the toss and opted to field but his bowlers had no answer to the power of opener King who stayed unbeaten on 82 off 52 deliveries.
In response, Sam Curran (50) was the only England batter to build on his start while Alzarri Joseph picked up three top-order wickets as the tourists were restricted to 7-166 in 20 overs.
King smashed five sixes and eight boundaries at the top of the order but Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer fell cheaply as the West Indies found themselves reeling at 4-54.
Captain Rovman Powell walked to the crease and did not hold back, hitting four sixes and a boundary in one Curran over to bring up his 50 in 22 balls before falling to the allrounder, caught while trying to clear the boundary.
Andre Russell also smashed two sixes at the death as the West Indies piled on 72 runs in the last five overs to wrap up their innings at 7-176.
The home side had the perfect start in the second innings when Buttler fell early to Akeal Hosein (2-24) while fellow spinner Gudakesh Motie throttled England’s run rate, conceding just nine runs in four overs.
But Joseph was the pick of the bowlers after he removed Phil Salt, Will Jacks and Curran, who smashed a quick-fire, maiden half-century to make up for his disastrous bowling figures of 1-38 in two overs.
The match marked the first time a female umpire from the West Indies, Jacqueline Williams, had stood in a men’s T20 international between two full-member teams.
England’s Australian head coach Matthew Mott expects a response from his side in the next match that will also be played in St George’s on Saturday.
“No one likes losing,” said Mott. “We played good cricket again for 90 per cent of the match. We had them under control up to the 15th-over mark and unfortunately, as West Indies can do, they hurt us.
“We fought back at the back end to keep them to 176 which was definitely chase-able. It’s light and shade with our batting, there’s some really good things happening but probably just too many dot balls.
“We have to respond from this. We will try to come up with more solutions. We are trying hard, we are close. We are a couple of good hits away from a win.
“The message in the changing room is that we are not far away. We just have to stay the course. We’ve got to win one first. That’s our first target.”